Friday, October 15, 2010

I Have a Question...

And I would honestly appreciate sincere answers. I know you're out there, so don't be shy and please jump in with your opinion...

Is is alright for a Catholic person (and I specify Catholic because it seems that this issue is not as prevalent in the broader Christian market) who has a product, or even products to sell, to make a profit? Or, should anything she has to sell more or less be sold for really no profit and considered her ministry? Put another way, is she a less charitable person because she is making a profit? Is she a more charitable person because she wants to give her products away, because it is more important for people to have her products than for her to make a profit?

I won't say anything else right now, so hopefully the question is clear. I would appreciate any and all responses.


  1. I'm no theologian, but I don't see why that would be a problem. A lot of the great Catholic voices of our day make money on the books they sell (e.g. Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn, etc.) I think that as long as you're not over-charging, there's no problem with it at all. Just my $0.02!

  2. This comment is from a friend of mine from facebook who couldn't get it to post here. I thought her comment about St. Joseph was good, so I'm posting it for her!

    Hi Laura,
    I can't get my comment to post on your blog.
    I don't think it is unChristian or wrong in any way shape or form to make a profit in a business. One would be a bad business person if you didn't make a profit. Your 'ministry' in life and your business are two separate things....or this person needs to decide if this is a ministry or a business. We all have to make a living somehow. All the better if it is making/doing something worthwhile that people truly need/can use than something really worthless that we just want. Even Joseph had to charge for his carpentry work!! How else would he have provided? What we then do with our money, of course will be judged, but I imagine most people who are struggling to live a holy life are not out squandering and cheating people.

  3. Hello, Laura! I have held onto your email all this time--forgive me for taking so long to respond. Here is MY two cents: Yes, it is absolutely okay for a Catholic to make a profit. I belong to an online community of Catholic women who are discussing this very thing today, and that is what prompted my memory to respond to your question.

    One woman suggested that it may even be heresy--Jansenism, perhaps?--to say that Catholics should NOT make money on Catholic (or any) product. I would also recommend referring to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, specifically CCC 2211 (the right to private property and free enterprise) and CCC 2402 (the appropriation of property is legitimate for helping each to meet his basic needs)

    I hope this helps. God bless you!